Kolkata: High on confidence after three back-to-back wins, East Bengal will look to continue it’s unscathed home run when they take on debutants Gokulam FC at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium on Wednesday.
Beginning with one draw and a loss in the Kolkata derby the Red and Golds however have bounced back in style and currently lie at the second position with a chance to go top of the table if they win against the league newbies.
Head coach Khalid Jamil however refused to see it as an opportunity to go higher rather insisted on playing ‘good football.’
Facing an opponent that has won just one of it’s four games it might be a cakewalk for the Kolkata giants but Jamil is not the one to take them lightly. “Every team which comes to play us will give their hundred percent so we cannot take anyone lightly,” he said. Before adding, “I do not know much about their (Gokulam Kerala FC’s) specialities but I had watched their first game. We have to play positive and think about our own game rather than others.”
Gokulam on the other hand will be boosted with their first win in the season, that came against the Arrows. The Kerala based outfit have so far scored three goals in four encounters, two of which came in the last match.
They will however have to tackle a free-flowing East Bengal who have scored the highest number of goals this campaign. A whopping 12 and will take more than just a good performance to stop them.
Katsumi Yusa and Laldanmawia Ralte with three goals each to their names have been their key men, while Willis Plaza have found the target twice against Churchill Brothers.
“I am feeling good at the moment with my game and have been working hard. But the end of the matter is that we need three points,” said Plaza at the pre-match conference.
Jamil may also be tempted to play Charles De Souza, who scored his first goal in the last fixture against his former club Chennai City.
Gokulam may however miss Stephane Kamo Bayi, whose brother Bazie Armand is part of the East Bengal squad. While, the participation of both Sushanth Mathew and Khalid Al-Saleh remain uncertain after the duo picked up injuries
Positioned seventh on the table with just four points from equal number of matches the debutants will nonetheless be happy with their defensive display that has seen them ship-in only five goals.
“I have respect for East Bengal, they are a big team. I am looking for a point here. I am not happy with the performances we have put in so far but this is a new club and it will take time before we start performing,” said head coach Bino George.